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Saturday, April 23, 2016
Buffalo-Niagara Film Commission Cindy Abbot-Letro, left, talks with Lockport Mayor Anne McCaffree and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster prior to the premiere of "The American Side" Friday night at the North Park Theatre in Buffalo. (PHOTOS BY SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF) 

BY +Scott Leffler

"The American Side" Director Jenna Ricker talked with the media prior to the
film's debut. 
BUFFALO -- The Lock City was on screen for just a couple minutes, but it was quality -- not quantity -- that mattered in the new independent film, "The American Side."

The new flick made its world debut Friday night at The North Park Theatre, where Mayor Anne McCaffrey was in attendance, as was Lockport Caves and Underground Boat Ride owner Tom Callahan.

Two separate scenes were shot in Lockport, although Lockportians may take issue with their geographic precision. The first scene, shot at the locks, purports to downstream from Niagara Falls as police find a body of a man that's said to have jumped over. The second scene is shot in the caves, but purports to be underground in Niagara Falls.

Both scenes, however, brought Hollywood stars -- and crews -- to Lockport, adding to the city's ever-growing list of movies being shot in Lockport.

The movie premiere lit up the North Park marquee. 
McCaffrey said Lockport "is a great set for Hollywood. We've got some unique views of the canal. The topography is beautiful. The views are beautiful. And I think we've got some unique footage."

"I think when people see the views of Lockport on the big screen, it makes them want to come and see it firsthand and enjoy our beautiful city," she said.

McCaffrey watched some of the filming in Lockport and also caught part of the movie being filmed at the Erie County Fair.

Callahan said the film crews that have come through Lockport in recent years have been great to work with and each filming builds on the last. While he was hesitant to give details, he said there is more in the works.

The film's producer and star Greg Stuhr is an Eden native. He said "Buffalonians are very proud of their city and their city looks great on film, and it looks great, I think in this film. So hopefully everybody will come out and take a look at it."

Director Jenna Ricker, not a Western New York native, also had nothing but kind words for the area. "My heart literally overflows with love for this city."

"The American Side" was filmed entirely in Western New York. It features Hollywood stars Matthew Broderick, Robert Forster, Robert Vaughn, Janeane Garofalo and Camilla Belle.

It will play at 4:30, 7, and 10 p.m. today, with select cast and crew in attendance for the 7 p.m. show. It will also run again at 4:30, 7, and 9:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday and various other times throughout next week. It makes its NYC debut on Friday.

This prop from the movie adorns the entranceway to the theater. 

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